For the fifth consecutive edition, the administration rolled out its regulatory agenda during the holidays, this time, the Friday evening before Thanksgiving. An American Action Forum (AAF) review of the agenda found more than $100 billion in potential costs.
This week regulators added $221 million in regulatory costs. Annual burdens were $217 million, compared to $515 million in quantified benefits; agencies published more than 700,000 paperwork burden hours. A consumer safety rule for off-highway vehicles led the week.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) probably does not actually enjoy losing in federal court, but judging by their recent quasi-regulatory actions, they are destined for yet another legal defeat. NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin now seeks to destroy decades of legal precedent by obliterating the current franchisor-franchisee relationship and expose countless businesses to increased litigation and regulation
On the legislative side, the House will bring a set of bills to the floor that seek greater transparency and accountability on environmental regulations. In terms of hearings, financial regulation dominates the conversation this week.
This week regulators published just $81 million in annual burdens. There were no reported benefits, but there were more than 2.5 million new paperwork burden hours. A rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on overpayment led the week.
The idea of a moratorium on regulation may sound like a blunt policy instrument to address the perceived negative effects of regulation on the economy. However, new research from the American Action Forum (AAF) finds that state moratoria on regulation provide gains to employment, wages, and small business growth. An average state implementing a moratorium would gain more than 15,600 jobs and create 2,800 new small businesses. In addition, a moratorium could increase total wages by more than $129 million per quarter.
The most notable aspect of the rule’s final version is the substantial increase in regulatory costs. The nearly $2 billion in additional burdens essentially doubles the rule’s price tag. And while the paperwork burden decreases slightly, both the final cost and paperwork estimates stand as the most burdensome ED rules since at least 2010.
The Department of Education’s final Gainful Employment rule pushed yearly costs past $157 billion in 2014. In addition to the compliance burdens, the rule adds close to seven million paperwork burden hours. The Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published the other notable rulemaking this week.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a combo pack of (supposedly annual) reports on the government’s overall regulatory paperwork burden. A review of the reports reveals an 828 million hour paperwork mistake, 13 ACA-related requirements in violation of the Paperwork Reduction Act, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the worst offender in the government.
Regulatory activity was once again slow, with just $50 million in costs. There were more than a quarter-million new paperwork burden hours, however. An EPA proposal regulating mercury in dental offices and a final rule amending direct loan requirements led the week.